Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 30th May - 1st June 2008

1. Sex and the City - $55.7M - $55.7M
2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $46M - $216.8M
3. The Strangers - $20.7M - $20.7M
4. Iron Man - $14M - $276.6M
5. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $13M - $115.6M
6. What Happens In Vegas - $6.8M - $66M
7. Baby Mama - $2.2M - $56.1M
8. Speed Racer - $2.1M - $40.5M
9. Made of Honor - $2M - $42.9M
10. Forgetting Sarah Marshall - $1.0M - $60.4M

Last weekend there was speculation on how well Sex & The City would perform. Indiana Jones was safe, we thought, for another weekend at the top spot and Sex & The City was expected to slot nicely into second place with a decent weekend take of about $30M. Right about now the words of screenwriter William Goldman come floating over the Hollywood sign: Nobody Knows Anything. Sex & The City is our number one movie this weekend with a massive (given the movie and its fan base) $55M.

It's opening day take was actually higher than Indiana Jones' ($25M plays $26M) as reports of sold out shows spread across the internet. It appears that wives and girlfriends who were dragged to Indiana Jones last weekend decided to drag their husbands and boyfriends to Sex and the City this weekend. Surely the ultimate in alternate programming, Sex and The City managed to get practically every female cinema goer into theatres this weekend and the film should easily see $100M even with being heavily front loaded and looking at a drop of 50%+ in its next frame.

The TV show finished in 2004 after a run of 94 episodes and immediately rumours of a movie began to surface. It would take a further three years before things began to move but you can bet there'll soon be rumours of the TV show returning given how popular the film has been. With only Baby Mama being aimed squarely at the female market, Sex had the entire demographic to itself and with everyone turning out to see Indiana Jones last weekend it gave the film some space to manoeuvre. The film will drop sharply next weekend, there's no way it'd be able to keep up that momentum, but it should continue to do well thanks to the limited number of releases in the coming weeks (I think I'm going to stop writing that as it's going to be the same for the next month or so!) and should see $100M by its third weekend of release. [Just read on BOP that Sex & the City entered the all time top ten for ticket pre-sales!]

Indiana Jones finished last weekend sitting just behind At World's End for the Memorial Day record. It's off around 55% this weekend which could be a little worrying but quite acceptable given it's huge opening (and the fact it was a holiday weekend too, resulting in inflated box office). The film has crossed the $200M level in its second weekend and is already well over $350M when we factor in its international take as well. Some of its business was lost to Sex & The City and the other new release of the week, The Strangers, but Indiana Jones is in it for the long haul now and should see a more acceptable drop in takings next weekend. $300M is still easily within reach and it could see a worldwide total as high as $700M but will it be able to catch up with the still going strong Iron Man? All that said, it must have still come as something of a surprise to see the film so quickly unseated from the top spot. Next weekend it'll face Adam Sandler and a Kung Fu Panda so it'll be interesting to see how Indiana (and Sex & The City) hold up against two films aimed at the family market.

The Strangers is apparently based on a true story. Two people in a remote house answer the front door late one night, only to find themselves terrorised by three masked strangers. Sounds more like an urban myth and director Bryan Bertino has been quick to point out that it's actually based around a couple of similar real life cases, indirectly of course (not to mention echoes of Funny Games). All that aside, for a horror movie to perform so well in the face of some serious big budgeted competition is almost as amazing as the Sex & The City opening weekend take. Some creepy trailers and stills have helped push the movie to top end of the charts (had it opened at any other time it may have seen the top spot) and it's already recouped its $10M budget.

This could so easily have gone the other way - the film had been delayed since last summer, never a good sign, and it's facing off not only against Sex & The City but some big hitters from previous weekends. Like most horror movies, it may well see a big drop next weekend but for The Strangers that won't really matter, it's shown up, done sterling business, and can now disappear happily into the night. The Strangers could be the '1408' of this summer.

Iron Man has crossed the half a billion dollars mark with its worldwide gross and moves closer toward $300M in the domestic market. It's now in its fifth weekend of release and has taken more this weekend than Prince Caspian, which has really began to flounder far quicker than expected. Even though we're still relatively early in the summer season, Iron Man has a real chance of being the number one movie come the end of the year. Meanwhile the aforementioned Prince Caspian crosses the $100M mark in the domestic market and sees over $160M when you factor in its international take. Caspian has yet to open in a number of foreign markets but it's already struggling elsewhere. It's doubtful even at this stage whether the film will see $150M/250M in the domestic/foreign markets respectively. A disappointment for Disney who were hoping for a bigger take than The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.

What Happens in Vegas is now fast approaching a $150M worldwide box office total. Not bad for a $35M comedy that looked almost as bad as Meet The Spartants. With the exception of Open Season and Cheaper By The Dozen, this is Ashton Kutchener's biggest movie. For Diaz, excluding her voice work in the Shrek series, There's Something About Mary remains her biggest hit with a huge $176M. Our remaining comedies are barely cracking $2M now and are just box office dead wood. Two new release next weekend should see the end of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Made of Honor, both of which have now broken even. Speed Racer is just a thorn in the side for Warner Bros who would prefer it to just disappear from their sight. It's global total is a shocking $68M and it's location count is already down to 2000.

Who'll win next weekend? CGI Panda comedy or Adam Sandler's secret agent hairdresser?

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